I'm hoping to get the windows layout that the pro version offers without purchasing pro. i was under the impression that nothing was behind a paywall.
The ZorinGroup works on Zorin OS full-time. This is not a side job, but their job.
For this reason, they offer the Pro Version that users can choose that supports development.
That being said; any user can mimic the Pro Version (without needing to download a pirated copy) by installing or setting up the additional features available in Pro.
This is true for the layouts, as well. You can create a layout to match your wants or needs.
I do not use any of the pre-made layouts so I admit, I have never once looked into how to go about making one... I cannot be much help there.
And I can see how from your point of view, choosing the entire Pro Suite for "one layout" may seem overkill.
If you choose Zorin OS Pro, you would be supporting development - even if you only wanted one item in it (Some users choose Pro, then opt for the Minimal Install).
If you choose to create the desired layout on Core, then you are supporting development by being a user of Zorin OS.
Perhaps someone on here knows a bit about how the layouts work...
It's not hard to set it to look Windows, after installing Zorin OS it already looks like Windows but then you can customize it more in Zorin Appearance and Taskbar Settings (right-click the taskbar to see it).
went ahead and got pro!